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Those first few puffs on a cigarette can within minutes cause genetic damage linked to cancer, US scientists said in a study released.
In fact, researchers said the "effect is so fast that it's equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream," in findings described as a "stark warning" to those who smoke.
The study is the first on humans to track how substances in tobacco cause DNA damage, and appears in the peer-reviewed journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, issued by the American Chemical Society.
Using 12 volunteer smokers, scientists tracked pollutants called PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, that are carried in tobacco smoke and can also be found in coal-burning plants and in charred barbecue food.
They followed one particular type -- phenanthrene, which is found in cigarette smoke -- through the blood and saw it form a toxic substance that is known to "trash DNA, causing mutations that can cause cancer," the study said.
"The smokers developed maximum levels of the substance in a time frame that surprised even the researchers: just 15-30 minutes after the volunteers finished smoking," the study said.
"These results are significant because PAH diol epoxides react readily with DNA, induce mutations, and are considered to be ultimate carcinogens of multiple PAH in cigarette smoke," the study said.
Lead scientist Stephen Hecht said the study is unique because it examines the effects of inhaling cigarette smoke, without interference from other sources of harm such as pollution or a poor diet.
"The results reported here should serve as a stark warning to those who are considering starting to smoke cigarettes," Hecht said.
Lung cancer kills about 3,000 people around the world each day, and 90 percent of those deaths are attributable to cigarette smoking.
The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute.
By Justin Sullivan | Agence France Presse – Sat, 15 Jan 9:17 PM EST
The Tobacco Industry Lies
"We don't smoke the crap. We just sell it. We reserve the right to smoke for the young, the poor, the blacks and the stupid." - R.J. Reynolds executive on the question of why their chief personnel do not smoke, 1994
"Realistically, if our Company is to survive and prosper, over the long term we must get our share of the youth market ..."
- Claude Teague, director of research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co
"The simple truth is that secrets the executives held and lies they told encouraged people to smoke and ultimately to die. Since their first congressional appearance alone, more than 4 million Americans have started smoking."
-USA Today, February 12, 1998
"They (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.) state that billboards should be placed wherever young people congregate - near fast-food restaurants, basketball courts, video game arcades and record stores. This while Reynolds steadfastly denied that Joe Camel was designed to appeal to young smokers..."
-Los Angeles Times, January 16, 1998
"There is a strong drive in most people, particularly the young, to try new things and experiences. This drive no doubt leads many pre-smokers to experiment with smoking, simply because it is there and they want to know more about it. A new brand offering something novel and different is likely to attract experimenters..."
-Claude Teague, director of research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
" ...If the desire to be daring is part of the motivation to start smoking, the alleged risk of smoking may actually make smoking attractive. Finally, if the 'older' establishment is preaching against smoking, the anti-establishment sentiment ... would cause the young to want to be defiant and smoke. Thus, a new brand aimed at the young group should not in any way be promoted as a "health" brand, and perhaps should carry some implied risk. In this sense, the warning label on the package may be a plus." - Claude Teague, director of research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
" ... Thus a new brand aimed at the young smoker must somehow become the 'in' brand and its promotion should emphasize togetherness, belonging and acceptance, while at the same time emphasizing individuality and 'doing one's own thing.'" - Claude Teague, director of research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
" ... A final psychological factor ... involves smoking-health attitudes. The smoking-health controversy does not appear important to the (21 and under) group because, psychologically, at eighteen, one is immortal." - Claude Teague, director of research and development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
"Low tar cigarettes aren't healthier and in some ways the type of cancers they cause are uglier."
- Jules Maaten, member of the European Parliament
" ... Cigarette companies had all along been aware that the terms "light" and "mild" were misleading ..."
" ... Public health authorities, including the World Health Organization, say it amounts to a misleading claim that some cigarettes are less toxic than others. Surveys suggest that this advertising influences smokers, especially women, to switch to lower-tar cigarettes instead of quitting; it also prompts young women to take up "light" brands, thinking they are safer."
Excerpts taken from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
"If immunity is not part of a comprehensive tobacco policy, the industry would be
'obligated' to challenge limits on advertising and marketing restrictions."
--Geoffrey Bible, Chairman and CEO, Phillip Morris Companies, February 25,
"Four years ago, Big Tobacco's seven top CEO's appeared before a congressional subcommittee and swore that cigarettes are no more addictive than Twinkies. A slew of industry documents released in recent weeks shows those statements weren't true. And evidence is mounting that the CEO's knew it."
-USA Today, February 12, 1998
What have the companies been telling us?
* Tobacco use isn't dangerous
* Nicotine isn't addictive
* Environmental Tobacco Smoke isn't dangerous.
* They don't want kids to smoke
What do their secret documents say?
* The companies have known for many years that tobacco use kills.
* They hired scientists to discover a safe cigarette, but none could be developed.
* They've known that nicotine is a drug and that it's addictive. The companies call cigarettes an ideal drug delivery system because they are convenient, portable, and are self administered.
* The level of nicotine in tobacco products is controlled by the companies to keep their customers addicted.
* Privately, they have conducted research on Environmental Tobacco Smoke which showed that it's dangerous.
* They want and need children to replace the 5,000 customers who die and quit smoking every year.
Here are some quotes from the tobacco industry that became public as a result of Tobacco Trials. This is what the tobacco industry says "BEHIND CLOSED DOORS."
The tobacco industry actively markets tobacco to teens.
"They got lips? We want them." (Reply of an RJ Reynolds representative when asked the age of the kids they were targeting.)
* "The desire to quit seems to come earlier now than before, even prior to the end of high school...attempts to quit are very painful, they thought they could quit easily, but they soon learn..."they have become SLAVES to their cigarettes. (Imperial Tobacco)
* A memo from Brown & Williamson consultants recommended the company use a "sweet flavor cigarette... It's a well known fact that teenagers like sweet products. Honey might be considered." (B&W 1972, from John Schwartz, Documents Indicate Strategy of Targeting Teen Smokers, Washington Post, February 5, 1998, p A3)
* David Goerlitz, the former Winston Man, asked RJ Reynolds executives, "Don't any of you smoke?" One executive answered, "Are you kidding" We reserve that right for the poor, the young, the black, and the stupid." (As quoted in a New York Times editorial by Bob Hebert, Nov. 1993)
* "We wanted to get into that market, (youth market) and used the promotional items, tee shirts, baseball caps, and one hot item were lighters, knowing full well the people were giving these away to was kids half the time." (Salesman for RJR) (Hilts.97)
* Marlboro dominates in the 17 and younger age category, capturing over 50 percent of the market." (1979 Philip Morris memo)
* They represent tomorrow's cigarette business...As this 14-24 age group matures, they will account for a key share of the total cigarette volume-for at least the nest 25 years."(RJR's marketing plan presented to the company's board of directors in 1974.
* The report on Teenage Smokers (14-17) indicates that RJR continues to gradually decline and between the spring and fall 1979 periods, RJR's total share declined from 21.3 to 19.9. Hopefully, our various planned activities that will be implement this fall will aid in some way in reducing or correcting these trends." (RJR interoffice correspondence July 22, 1980)
* "Kool has shown little or no growth in share of users in the 26 (plus) age group... Growth is from 16-15 year olds. At the present rate, a smoker in the 16-25 year age group will soon be three times as important to Kool as a prospect in any other broad age category." (1973 Brown and Williamson memo)
* "Young blacks have found their thing. It's menthol in general and KOOL in particular."(l974 Philip Morris marketing plan)
* A 1992 memo form Imperial Tobacco's "Project 16" notes how many young people who begin smoking "in the 14-16 age range" doubt they will become addicted to cigarettes. The memo continues, "Once addiction does take place, it becomes necessary for the smoker to make peace with the accepted hazards....(from John Schwartz, Documents Indicate Strategy of Targeting Teen Smokers, Washington Post, February 5, 1998, pA3)
The tobacco industry has known that tobacco kills.
* "Studies of clinical data tend to confirm the relationship between heavy and prolonged tobacco smoking and incidence of cancer of the lung." (RJ Reynolds, 1953) "There are biologically active materials present in cigarette smoking. These are: • cancer causing • cancer promoting • poisonous • stimulating (A consulting firm, working for the US Liggett Company reviewed the results of seven year's research work. 1961)
They've know nicotine is addictive
More than twenty Surgeon General Reports over a span of more than twenty-five years have summarized tens of thousands of studies that show tobacco use is deadly.
The tobacco industry doesn't want to admit that nicotine is a drug because it's afraid that The Food and Drug Administration, a governmental agency, will be able to regulate cigarettes. They fear that the FDA may force them to lower the amount of nicotine, or worse yet, make them remove it. If this happened, the tobacco industry would no longer have a product that people would buy. They know that a cigarette is nothing more than a little white package that holds nicotine. Without the nicotine no one would buy the package.
This is what they've said "Behind Closed Doors."
* "Very few customers are aware of the effects of nicotine, i.e. its addictive nature and that nicotine is a poison." (1979 B&W document)
* "Nicotine is the addicting agent in cigarettes." (1982 B&W Tobacco Company document on getting smokers to switch brands.)
* "Ammonia, when added to tobacco reacts with nicotine and can act as an impact booster (makes nicotine more powerful)."( Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation)
* "Nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug." (B&W, 1963)
* "Think of a cigarette as a dispenser for a dose unit of nicotine...." (Philip Morris, 1971)
* We are searching explicitly for a socially acceptable addictive product...The essential constituent is most likely to be nicotine or a direct substitute for it." (August 1979 memo by BAT on the search for a potential replacement for cigarettes)
* Taken together, the evidence suggests that self-administration of nicotine may be the primary motivation for smoking." (1984 BAT document describing nicotine's addictive qualities in scientific detail)
Tobacco Companies Know Tobacco is a Drug
* BAT should learn to look at itself as a drug company rather than as a tobacco company." (April 1980 memo by a team of BAT scientists
* "Do we really want to tout cigarette smoke as a drug" It is, or course." (February 1969 memo from a Philip Morris researcher)
* "Classification of tobacco as a drug should be avoided at all costs." (1974 British American Tobacco memo).
Tobacco companies like Philip Morris want to change their image. They'd like us to believe they are doing everything they can to keep kids from smoking. That's like saying they want to put themselves out of business. The truth is:
The amount spent on promotions and marketing of cigarettes vastly exceeded what was spent on any of these (Tobacco Institute youth) programs." (Michael Ciresi, Attorney for the State of Minnesota, summarizing in court information showing that the three largest cigarette manufacturers spent $40.6 million on youth prevention programs from 1938 to 1994 or less than 2 tenths of 1% of the @26.9 billion spent on cigarette advertising, marketing and promotion during the same period.)
Many of these quotes were compiled by the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.
For more quotes go to Tobacco Industry Quotes: A Sample - from Americans for NonSmokers' Rights
The Tobacco Industry Lies: Who Are They Trying to Fool?
1.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“I’ve not seen documents which demonstrate to me that the companies or any company has targeted kids as smokers—as customers.” --Spokesperson for Tobacco CEO’s testifying at Minnesota tobacco trial in St. Paul, February 1998
An updated Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. document described company research on the “starting [smoking] behavior” of children as young as 5 years old. --Document released in Minnesota Trial, March 1998
2.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“If I thought that ad (the Joe Camel campaign) caused any young people to begin smoking, I’d pull it in a heartbeat…it’s fun, just like Snoopy the dog sells Met Life Insurance, just like Garfield the cat sells Embassy Suites Hotels.” --James Johnston, CEO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, April 14, 1994
Secret documents released in January 1998 by Rep. Henry Waxman show that since 1974 RJR has been trying to attract smokers as young as 13. It aimed Joe Camel ads at kids and pursued a teen market because “they represent tomorrow’s cigarette business.” --C.A. Tucker, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Vice President of Marketing, 1974
3.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“We should not be marketing cigarettes to young people. It is certainly anomalous to the Phillip Morris I know.” --Geoffrey Bible, CEO of Phillip Morris, Minnesota Tobacco trial, February 1998
“Marlboro dominates in the 17 and younger age category, capturing over 50 percent of the market.” --1979 Philip Morris memo
4.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“What’s the tobacco industry doing to discourage youth smoking? A LOT.” --Tobacco Institute Advertisement, 1994
“Realistically, if our company is to survive and prosper over the long term, we must get our share of the youth market. In my opinion, this would require new brands tailored to the youth market…” --Claude Teague of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco in his “Research Planning Memorandum on Some Thoughts About New Brands of Cigarettes for the Youth Market,” February 2, 1973.
5.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“Now, I want to be very clear. We do not survey anyone under the age of 18.”
--James Johnston, CEO of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, April 14, 1994
Just one year prior to its domestic launch of the domestic Joe Camel Campaign, RJR, through its Canadian subsidiary, commissioned a study on 15-17 year-olds.
--An R.J. Reynolds Tobacco report “Youth Target 1987,” 1987
6.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“We advertise and promote our products only to adult smokers. There is no significant connection between advertising and the decision to start smoking. Studies have shown that peer pressure and parental influence are the chief factors in a youngster’s decision to smoke.”
Children see--and act on--tobacco advertising and promotion. Although other factors also come into play, advertising and promotion definitely succeed in creating demand for tobacco products. Advertising and promotion increase sales both by increasing the consumption of current smokers, and by attracting new consumers.
7.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“We sponsor bold initiatives designed to discourage young people from smoking.”
At best, tobacco industry initiatives are ineffective in preventing young people from taking up smoking. At worst, they are an insidious extension of the industry’s strategy of luring young people to start smoking by presenting the cigarettes as a rite of passage into the adult world.
8.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“We do not, under any circumstances, want kids to smoke.”
--R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Advertising Campaign, 1994
“I need all of you to study the attached scroll list of…stores that are heavily frequented by young adult shoppers. These stores can be in close proximity to colleges, high schools or areas where there are a large number of young adults…The purpose of this exercise is to be able to identify those stores during 1990 where we would try to keep premium items in stores at all times.
--1990 memo written by J.P. McMahon, Division Manager of RJR Sales Company in Sarasota, Florida, to Sales Reps. Regarding the young adult market and headlined “VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!!!”
9.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“Cigarette smoking is an adult custom. The decision to smoke should be an adult one. Children should not smoke.”
“Smoking is a deadly addiction, responsible for 3 million deaths each year. By using words like “custom” the industry diverts attention from the well-established devastating health impacts of tobacco. Because nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine, using tobacco is not a choice once you’re hooked. And the nicotine industry hooks 60% of its customers before they’re even 14 years old.
10.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“We abide by local laws and regulations in every country in which we do business. It is as inappropriate to apply U.S. marketing restrictions overseas as it would be for those countries to impose their laws here.”
The tobacco industry’s attempt to use outrageous double standards for national self-determination is as offensive as it is transparent. Whenever they can get away with it, the tobacco transnationals show nothing but contempt for the laws and regulations of other countries.
11.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“We have for many years adhered to a voluntary Code restricting our marketing
The tobacco industry’s voluntary Advertising and Promotion Code is a sham that does more harm than good by giving the companies a potent PR tool while compelling no changes in behavior. The code is completely without independent enforcement—the companies simply assert their compliance, and no one outside the industry has any authority to stop even the grossest violations.
12.) Tobacco Industry Claim:
“We do not ‘spike’ our cigarettes with nicotine.”
--James W. Johnston, Chairman, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Advertisement, 1994
“We did decide that we needed a little more oomph, a little more pizzazz, if you will, in an ultra-low-tar cigarette. So we manipulated the blend to raise the nicotine level slightly.” --Testimony by a confidential informant, known as “DOC,” a former tobacco industry executive to officials of the Food and Drug Administration, 1994
Just How Powerful is the Tobacco Lobby?
By Tom Dennen
Tobacco is a hidden radioactive serial killer
When Did Tobacco Companies (and subsequently Governments) Know About This Killer - Polonium 210 - and How Long Have They Known?
"Former United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (1982 - 1989) stated that radioactivity, rather than tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking-related lung cancers. The American Center for Disease Control concluded: 'Americans are exposed to far more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source.' "
(Lung cancer went) "From a rarity in 1930 (4/100,000 per year) to the No. 1 cancer killer in 1980 (72/100,000)."
"For 40 yearsTobacco companies have covered up the fact that cigarette smoke contains a dangerous radioactive substance that exposes heavy smokers to the radiation equivalent of having 300 chest X-rays a year.
"Internal company records reveal that cigarette manufacturers knew that tobacco contained polonium-210 but avoided drawing public attention to the fact for fear of “waking a sleeping giant”." - ciggifree.com
Smokers - You are inhaling the same poison that killed former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London, November 2006!
"Customers at a restaurant and a hotel visited by the poisoned ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko will be tested for the radioactive substance that killed him, Polonium 210, said British health chiefs on Friday" according to British newspapers.
The British were worried.
SCIENTISTS KNEW BEFORE 1980
"Polonium 210 is an alpha emitter that has a half-life of 138.376 days (about four and a half months - ed), decaying directly to its stable daughter isotope, polonium 206.
"A milligram of polonium 210 emits about as many alpha particles per second as 4.5 grams of radon 226.
" ... Because of the short range of absorption, alphas are not generally dangerous to life unless the source is ingested or inhaled, in which case, they become extremely dangerous.
"Because of this high mass and strong absorption, if alpha emitting radionuclides do enter the body ( ... inhaled or ingested), alpha radiation is the most destructive form of ionizing radiation.
"It is the most strongly ionizing, and with large enough doses can cause any or all of the symptoms of radiation poisoning. It is estimated that chromosome damage from alpha particles is about 100 times greater than that caused by an equivalent amount of other radiation.
" ... A single gram of polonium 210 generates 140 watts of power. Because it emits many alpha particles, which are stopped within a very short distance in dense media and release their energy, polonium 210 has been used as a lightweight heat source to power thermoelectric cells in artificial satellites; for instance, a polonium 210 heat source was ... used in each of the russian Lunokhod rovers deployed on the surface of the Moon to keep their internal components warm during the lunar nights." - Wikipedia.
Polonium 210 is the only component of cigarette smoke that has produced cancers by itself in laboratory animals by inhalation - tumors that appear at a level FIVE TIMES LOWER than from a heavy smoker's dose.
LUNG CANCER WAS RARE BEFORE 1930
Lung cancer rates among American men kept climbing from a rarity in 1930 (4/100,000 per year) to the No. 1 cancer killer in 1980 (72/100,000) in spite of an almost 20 percent reduction in smoking through anti-smoking information campaigns. But during the same period, the level of polonium 210 in American tobacco had tripled, coinciding with the increase in the use of cheaper phosphate fertilizers by tobacco growers - calcium phosphate ore accumulates uranium and slowly releases radon gas.
"As radon decays, its electrically charged daughter products (including Polonium 210) attach themselves to dust particles, which adhere to the sticky hairs on the underside of tobacco leaves. This leaves a deposit of radioactive polonium and lead on the leaves. Then, the intense localized heat in the burning tip of a cigarette volatilizes the radioactive metals. While cigarette filters can trap chemical carcinogens, they are ineffective against radioactive vapors.
"The lungs of a chronic smoker end up with a radioactive lining in a concentration much higher than from residential radon." - Lenntech Water treatment & air purification Holding B.V. Rotterdamseweg 402 M.
Smoking two packs of cigarettes a day imparts a Polonium 210-emitted alpha particle radiation dose of about 1,300 millirem per year. For comparison, the annual radiation dose to the average American from inhaled radon is 200 mrem.
In addition, polonium 210 is soluble and is circulated through the body to every tissue and cell in levels much higher than from residential radon. The proof is that it can be found in the blood and urine of smokers. The circulating polonium 210 causes genetic damage and early death from diseases reminiscent of early radiological pioneers: liver and bladder cancer, stomach ulcer, leukemia, cirrhosis of the liver and cardiovascular diseases.
Former United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stated that radioactivity, rather than tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking-related lung cancers. The American Center for Disease Control concluded: "Americans are exposed to far more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source."
Cigarette smoking accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths.
Only poor diet rivals tobacco smoke as a cause of cancer in the U.S., causing a comparable number of fatalities each year. However, the National Cancer Institute, with an annual budget of $500 million, has no active funding for research of radiation from smoking or residential radon as a cause of lung cancer, presumably to protect the public from undue fears of radiation from smoking tobacco.
Back to Litvinenko and the British government's worries - "British Health Protection Agency last week called for people who had been to the Itsu sushi restaurant (where Litvinenko was poisoned) or Millennium Hotel in central London on November 1 to come forward."
The appeal came as the Conservatives indicated that they would ask the Government to make a Commons statement over the affair.
According to the press at the time, "The HPA is taking "extremely seriously" concerns that other people may have been contaminated by the Polonium 210 that led to the death of Alexander Litvinenko in hospital although it made clear "the risk was low."
"Doctors discovered that he had somehow ingested a large dose of the radioactive substance and samples of it were later found in the hotel and restaurant.
"Mr. Litvinenko, a former colonel in the Russian security services, visited both places on November 1, the day he was taken ill.
"A vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin, Mr. Litvinenko, 43, claimed in a statement made public after his death that the Russian president had had him poisoned.
"Scotland Yard's counter terrorism unit is investigating but has not described it as murder. Foreign Office officials have passed on a request via the Russian Ambassador, Yuri Fedotov, asking authorities in Moscow to make available any information that might assist police with their enquiries.
"A post-mortem examination of Mr. Litvinenko's body has been delayed while a risk assessment is carried out to see if it is safe to perform the procedure and what precautions may be necessary.
"Polonium-210 is very dangerous to handle in even tiny amounts - milligram or microgram amounts - and special equipment and strict control is necessary.
"Human damage arises from the complete absorption of the alpha particle energy Polonium 210 emits, which is captured by soft tissue.
"Sources maintain that it is not only a very unusual method of assassination, but also that not even fiction writers have bothered with it as a difficult-to-detect murder weapon.
Breathe … IN!
I followed up this story at the time - throughout 2006 - and discovered that British Health, in conjunction with Britain's largest Cancer charity, Cancer Research UK, had put together five anti-smoking tv commercials, two of which exposed polonium 210 as an ingredient in tobacco products. An ad campaign takes about a year from conception to airing. The Cancer campaign cost some fifty thousand pounds or ten k per commercial - nothing compared to tax revenues, but a sterling effort!
(British tax revenue alone went from 1.1 billion pounds in 1990 to 1.8 billion in 1996 where it has remained until today while American tobacco tax revenue went from $3.363bn in 1977 $15.834bn in 2007.)
The campaign included a saturation of beer coasters warning of polonium 210 in cigarettes, which were distributed throughout the North Country.
Immediately after Litvinenko's death, the coasters were recalled.
The campaign was flighted a few weeks later sans the two polonium commercials (40% of the ad budget cut) "because we did not want to embarrass Litvinenko's family" according to reports in the British press attributed to a British Health spokesperson and perhaps at my persistence in asking why the poloniuim commercials were left out of the campaign.
All subsequent correspondence on the matter between myself, British Health, the newspapers that carried the 'embarrassment' story and the studio that produced the commercials has been ignored to this day.
The story was not picked up by any Mainstream Media except the New York Times, which simply reported the scientific findings listed above by Robert N. Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford University. .
Just how powerful IS the Tobacco Lobby?
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